North Stokes coach Christine Condon is looking for her young Vikings team to exceed last season’s 10-15 overall record and 8-4 in the Northwest 1A Conference.
The Vikings finished third in conference play last year and fell in the first round of the state 1A playoffs to Community School of Davidson.
“We lost five seniors off last season’s team, but have five returners,” said the coach. “We’re young, but our goal is for them to grow daily and become more confident in themselves to be a competitive team.”
North Stokes will be leaning on the experience of last year’s all-conference players Natalie Dodson, Meredith Rasey, and Taylor Brim.
Dodson led her team with 338 digs, Rasey added 183 kills, and Brim is expected to fill the role as a defense specialist according to Condon.
“We only have Natalie and Taylor as our seniors this year, so we will rely on our underclassmen to step-up and help us,” she said. “Meredith and Lora (Wood) will be used as our middle hitters, Leanne (Sessoms) as our setter on the right side, and Natalie as our libero.”
North will feature 11 players on the team with three freshmen and two sophomores.
The coach is looking to run a 6-2 offense, which will provide more hitting options for the ladies.
In preparation for the season, North Stokes worked with Eli Valentine before matchups officially kicked off. Valentine played volleyball at Lees McRae and has served as an assistant coach at Appalachian State University, Penn State, and Presbyterian College.
“Eli has been coming to North Stokes for several years now,” Condon said. “He brings a lot of knowledge of the game and we always learn a great deal from him.”
Members of this year’s team are: Taylor Brim (Sr.), Natalie Dodson (Sr.), Jayden Manuel (Jr.), Lora Wood (Jr.), Meredith Rasey (Jr.), Leann Sessoms (Jr.), Autumn Martin (So.), Reid Hawkins (So.), Jade Tuttle (Fr.), Leanna Harbour (Fr.), and Skylar Amos (Fr.).
Aug. 19 at McMichael (Tournament)
Aug. 21 vs. West Stokes
Aug. 24 at McMichael
Aug. 28 vs. East Wilkes
Aug. 29 at Patrick County
Aug. 30 at Alleghany
Sept. 6 vs. McMichael
Sept. 7 vs. Patrick County
Sept. 12 vs. Bishop McGuinness*
Sept. 13 vs. Alleghany
Sept. 14 vs. East Surry*
Sept. 18 at West Stokes
Sept. 19 at Mount Airy*
Sept. 21 at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy*
Sept. 25 at East Wilkes
Sept. 26 vs. South Stokes*
Sept. 28 at Bishop McGuinness*
Oct. 3 at East Surry*
Oct. 5 vs. Mount Airy*
Oct. 10 vs. Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy*
Oct. 12 at South Stokes*
*Northwest 1A Conference games.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.